Days after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, demands from the public and lawmakers for tougher gun control legislation were met by President Barack Obama's call for a re-examination of the country's gun laws.
Obama announced Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an administration effort to develop recommendations no later than January for preventing another mass shooting.
But this isn't the first time the country has heard calls for action to put an end to gun violence. Most of the time, little happens legislatively. And of the action that has been taken to curb gun violence, much of the legislation enacted in the last three decades has been undone by court challenges -- many of which were supported by Second Amendment advocates.
Now, with 20 children and seven adults shot to death by a man who then took his own life, some in Washington say, "This time is different."
Here is a list of some of the worst mass shootings in the past and the legislative action -- or inaction -- following each:
Sept. 5, 1949 - Camden, N.J.
A World War II veteran, 28-year-old Howard Unruh shoots and kills 13 of his neighbors. Unruh was found insane and committed to a state mental institution rather than standing trial.
Legislative reaction: No legislative reaction could be found.
Aug. 1, 1966 - Austin, Texas
Dead: 19, including the shooter
Wounded: at least 30
The University of Texas bell tower shooter, 25-year-old Charles Joseph Whitman, kills 16 people and wounds at least 30 from his perch above the university grounds. Whitman was heavily fortified with a variety of weapons when he started picking off his victims. He also shot and killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.
Legislative reaction: Rather than addressing gun violence, the discussions after the crime surrounded a brain tumor that Whitman was found to have. The governor of Texas at the time, John Connally -- who had been wounded during the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963 -- asked for legislation requiring someone to be committed for life if they were found insane in murder and in kidnapping cases, Time Magazine reported following the shooting. Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was later assassinated in Los Angeles while campaigning for president, asked for the same legislation at the federal level.
Sept. 25, 1982 - Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Dead: 13 A 40-year-old prison guard shoots and kills 13 people, including five of his children.
The gunman, George Banks, used a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle when he went house to house, shooting his victims. Banks was sentenced to death by electrocution, but he received a stay of execution in 2004. He was declared incompetent in 2010.
Legislative reaction: No direct legislative reaction. However, the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981 prompted a reaction to gun violence. In 1982, the city of Chicago became the first major municipality to ban guns. Chicago's suburbs weren't far behind. But soon after, the National Rifle Association begins to try to pre-empt gun control legislation nationwide. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban in 2010.
July 18, 1984 - San Ysidro, Calif.
Dead: 22, including the shooter
James Oliver Huberty, 41, opens fire at a McDonald's in Southern California. By the time Huberty was shot and killed by a SWAT team sniper, he had killed or wounded 41 people. Huberty's victims ranged in age from 8 months to 74 years. Huberty used a long-barreled Uzi, a Winchester 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a 9 mm handgun to target his victims.
Legislative reaction: No legislative reaction.
Jan. 17, 1989 - Stockton, Calif.
Dead: 6, including the shooter